Saturday, November 9, 2019


All good things must come to an end.....sadly my promoting New Jersey theatre must cease. Here are a few great moments from the past twelve years.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Leonia Chamber Musicians Society to Feature Composer Amy Beach in November Concert, 'Harmony in Life'

 The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc. (LCMS) salutes pioneering American woman composer and piano virtuoso Amy Beach in the organization's second concert of the 2019-2020 series.  The LCMS presents 'Harmony in Life', a recognition of three composers who overcame life's struggles to write beautiful music, on November 24, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church in Leonia, located at 181 Fort Lee Road in Leonia, New Jersey.  The society's members --Theresa Norris, flute; Marsha Heller, oboe; Roy Lewis, violin; Maggie Speier, viola; and Daryl Goldberg, cello -will be joined by guest artist violinist Janey Choi.

Composers Overcame Obstacles

            Beach's (1867-1944) compositional excellence paved the way for acceptance in a male dominated field.  Her romantic Theme and Variations for Flute and String quartet is based on one of the many melodious songs she wrote. 

            Englishman Gustav Holst (1874-1934), known for his great orchestral suite The Planets, composed a Terzetto for the interesting combination of Flute, Oboe and Viola.  He overcame a life of illness to compose a wealth of opera, orchestra and chamber music compositions.

            Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884) is famously known for his musical tribute to Czech history in his orchestra piece Má vlast (My Homeland).  After losing his hearing, he continued to compose one of his best works, the string quartet Z mého života (From My Life).         

            "In this time of unexpected violence, the LCMS' concerts offer a refuge, a community gathering to appreciate the beauty and expression of the human soul.  The professional musicians of the Leonia Chamber Musicians nourish the human spirit with music," said Ms. Daryl Goldberg, President, Leonia Chamber Musicians Society.

            The season closes on Sunday March 22, 2020 at 4 p.m., celebrating Ludwig van Beethoven’s birthday with performances of the Quintet in Eb for Piano and Winds Op. 16, and the String Quartet Op. 132 in A minor.  The concert takes place at the Presbyterian Church in Leonia, 181 Fort Lee Road in Leonia, New Jersey.

            All tickets are $20, available for purchase at the door on the day of each performance or online at  Students under age 18 are admitted free.  Refreshments are served after the concert, and the audience is invited to meet and greet the musicians.

Holiday Concert

             The Leonia Public Library presents The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society for a third annual Holiday Concert on Monday, December 9, 2019 at 7 p.m.  This special concert is free and open to the community.  The library is located at 227 Fort Lee Rd. in Leonia, New Jersey, and parking is available in a lot behind the building and on side streets.

Benefit Concert

            The LCMS begins the new year with a benefit concert for the Leonia High School Music Department on Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 5 p.m.  The concert, under the auspices of Si-Yo Classically Leonia, will be held at Leonia United Methodist Church, 396 Broad Avenue in Leonia, New Jersey.

About Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc.

             The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc., a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, enriches the cultural environment of the community by presenting a series of high quality, affordable, and accessible chamber music concerts.  The members of the Leonia Chamber Musicians generate the excitement of a live performance with professional talent: all of them perform in the major concert halls of New York City.

            Music for the programs is selected to represent different periods and styles of music.  Presentations are given about the music played, the composers, the musicians and related subjects.

               Donations are vital to the success and sustainability of the programs in Leonia, NJ.  No donation made with an open heart is too small.  Tax-deductible contributions to the Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc. are welcome and encouraged to continue the tradition of quality concerts at affordable prices.  Donations through PayPal may be made securely on the website at, or checks made to the attention of Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc. may be mailed to P.O. Box 473, Leonia, New Jersey 07605. 

             To be added to the mailing list, send an e-mail to  For more information about the Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc., visit or


Bergen County Players, one of America's longest-running little theater
companies, will kick off its new Second Stage season with a limited
engagement of Ernest Thompson's ANSWERS, a duo of hilarious one-act
comedies. Under the direction of Matt Blum, ANSWERS will run November
9th and 10th at the Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell. Show times
will be Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 7pm. All tickets are $12.00 and
can be purchased online at, by calling 201-261-4200
or by visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell

during regular box office hours.

In the first of this collection of short plays, "The Constituent" showcases a curmudgeon meeting his longtime nemesis, his U.S. Senator,with hilarious results. Chas Potter (Roy Harry) is a crotchety old New England Yankee who likes to write insulting letters to public figures, especially a certain United States Senator from Maine. Needless to
say, Senator Bill Blane (David Luke) shows up and the two cantankerous
codgers have a go at each other. In "Twinkle, Twinkle," a Southern
bored housewife (Charity Kenny) writes a provocative fan letter to her
favorite soap opera star (Larry Brustofski) as a lark, only to have
him show up at her modest home. When her husband (Eric Jusino) leaves
to go bowling, the TV star and housewife settle into a mildly amusing
pattern of shifting perceptions. 

Playwright Ernest Thompson is one of theater's most talented and prolific writers. He has won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a Writers Guild Award and a Broadway Drama Guild Award
for Best Play. His work has been nominated for a Tony, an Emmy and a British Academy Award. His more than 35 plays have been seen in theaters around the world. The most enduring, "On Golden Pond," has been translated into 30 languages, Arabic the newest, and played in more than 40 countries on six continents.

 Matt Blum of Hackensack makes his directorial debut at the Little Firehouse Theater with
ANSWERS. In addition to directing a series of successful workshop productions at BCP, Matt directed an original production of The Army Dance for The Players Guild of Leonia in 2018. In addition, Matt has appeared onstage in numerous productions including "The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940," "Cabaret," and "Guys and Dolls," among others. The
talented cast of ANSWERS includes David Luke of Oakland as Senator Bill Blane, Roy Harry of Upper Saddle River as Chas Potter, Charity Kenny of Orangeburg, NY as Andrea Jackson, Eric Jusino of Carlstadt as Bo Jackson and Larry Brustofski of Oakland as Ted Talbot. The production team is comprised of Matt Blum of Hackensack (Director),
Joanna and Alan Shoup of Bergenfield (Producers), Joanne Misha of Montvale (Assistant to the Director), Debbie Zika of Hillsdale (Stage Manager), Allan Seward of Bardonia, NY (Lighting Designer), Julie Steckler-Kopil of Suffern, NY (Lighting Operator), Tim Larsen of
Hackensack (Sound Designer), Aura Caicedo of Newark (Sound Operator),
Lynne Lupfer of Tenafly and Aura Caicedo (Decor), David Arts of Wyckoff (Fight Choreographer), Maureen Mulvihill of Edgewater and Maureen Laffey of Dumont (Costumes and Makeup),and Barbra Murtha of Allendale and Anne Powers of Ramsey (Properties). Upcoming Second Stage productions include "Love Letters" (April 4th and 5th), and
"Central Park West" (June 4th thru the 7th).

- All performances take place at The Little Firehouse Theatre at 298
Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, home to the Bergen County Players since
1949. Performance times are Saturday at 2pm, and Sunday at 7pm.
- Tickets for ANSWERS are $12 for all performances, and can be
purchased online at, by calling 201-261-4200 or by
visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during
regular box office hours. Visa, Master Card, and American Express are
- Those interested in Group Sales or benefit theater parties can call
(201) 261-4200 (option #6)
- BCP offers seating to accommodate patrons who are mobility impaired
and can transfer from a wheelchair. These seats can be purchased by
calling the box office at 201-261-4200 and will be released for public
sale two weeks prior to performance.
- Parking is free for our patrons at the Park Avenue municipal lot,
across the street, one-half block north of the theater, as well as
street parking on Kinderkamack Road and various side streets, all
within easy walking distance.

Further information can be found at The Bergen
County Players, Inc. is a non-Equity, non-profit community theater
company dedicated to presenting quality productions for the enrichment
of the community.

'Working A Musical' opens this week at The Strollers of Maplewood

Visit our website to purchase tickets online:
Or call the box office to reserve your seats and pay when you arrive: (973) 761-8453 (cash only). 

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Report from Ezra Barnes

Dear Friends, Unintended, a film by Anja Murmann starring Elizabeth Lail, is set for a release date of November 7 both on Apple TV and in select thea

Dear Friends,
Unintended, a film by Anja Murmann starring Elizabeth Lail, is set for a release date of November 7 both on Apple TV and in select theaters (ie. The Roxy in Tribeca). Unintended is about a young woman named Leah and her journey into a troubled past. I play her father. Also in the cast are Amy Hargreaves, Sean Cullen, Nathan Keyes and Jeremy Holm. I hope you'll see this beautiful and moving film.
Unintended Website Selects-2-2
With Elizabeth Lail in "Unintended," directed by Anja Murmann

From November 7-24 I'm appearing onstage in Madhuri Shekar's new play Queen at the Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, NY.
Queen is about two young scientists researching Colony Collapse Disorder, or, the death of the honeybee. Their relationship must transcend ethnic and class differences, and the challenges posed by ethical crises and romantic entanglements. I play Dr. Philip Hayes, their PHD supervisor and a source of some of their troubles.
Joining me in the cast for Queen are Nikhaar Kishnani, Nik Sadhnani and Marina Shay, and the production is directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh. For tickets.
motherless bklyn

Finally, I highly recommend seeing Edward Norton's Motherless Brooklyn, opening nationwide on November 1. It is a grand and suspenseful film with wonderful performances. I can be seen as the doctor in a climactic scene. It was a thrill to work--even ever so briefly--with Edward Norton, Bruce Willis and the masterful cinematographer Dick Pope.
192 Hi-Res Color
photo by Tom Bloom

See you at the theater and the movies.


Auditions:One-Act Festivat at Dover Little Theatre Sunday Nov. 3rd

Auditions Tomorrow
Auditions Sunday, November 3rd at 7pm

If you missed your chance to audition for our Winter Holiday One-act Festival, we have added an additional audition this Sunday. Our festival includes a diverse collection of light-hearted holiday vignettes, perfect for actors of all ages and experience levels! Please email if you have any questions
Find further audition info here

Thursday, October 31, 2019

UCPAC Presents 90’s House Party featuring Rob Base, Tone Loc, and Young MC

The Union County Performing Arts Center presents 90’s House Party featuring Rob Base, Tone Loc, and Young MC on Saturday, November 16 at 8 pm.

Fans can expect to hear chart-topping hits like “Bust A Move,” “It Takes Two,” “Funky Cold Medina” and many more during a fun-filled night out that doubles as a 90’s old-school, hip-hop party!

Young MC began rapping at the age of 10 and continued honing his skills until he was signed to Delicious Vinyl in 1987 during his junior year of college. While completing his last 2 years at USC, Young MC helped write “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina” for Tone Loc. Wild Thing would sell nearly 4 million copies and Funky Cold Medina would sell

well over 2 million copies. In February 1990, Young MC won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance.

Rob Base first began performing with various group; Sure Shot Seven, Cosmic 3 MC’s, Freedom Force and Disco Enforcers. He and partner DJ EZ Rock would eventually separate from the groups to form Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock. Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock’s music began to gained momentum and they would receive a distribution deal with Profile Records. In 1988, they released debut album, It Takes Two. Its title track became a massive single, and both were certified platinum by the RIAA.

1980s rap pioneer Tone-Loc was the second rap act ever to reach #1 on Billboard’s album charts. His album Loc’d After Dark (1989) spawned the hit singles “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina”; they remain Loc’s best-known tunes.

Also, local rapper NisaF (NisaFbaby) from the Linden/Rahway area will be the opening act for the show! She gets her sound from her idols and fellow female rappers Missy Elliott, Eve, Lil Kim, and Queen Latifah. She recently released a single, “Who Gon Check Me?”
Orchestra and Loge tickets are now buy one, get one free! No code needed.

The Union County Performing Arts Center’s Main Stage is located at 1601 Irving Street in Rahway, NJ.Tickets can be purchased at, in person at the Box Office, or by calling 732-499-8226. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Renée Taylor’s award-winning autobiographical comedy MY LIFE ON A DIET next at George Street Playhouse

Renée Taylor’s award-winning autobiographical comedy MY LIFE ON A DIET will arrive at George Street Playhouse next month, with performances beginning November 19 in the Arthur Laurents Theater at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center.

In MY LIFE ON A DIET, Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning writer and actress Renée Taylor looks back on a life full of memorable roles in Hollywood and on Broadway, and just as many fad diets. A self-described “diet junkie” who used to think that if she ate like star, she’d just might look and live like one, Renée dishes out both juicy anecdotes about and weight loss tips from Hollywood legends such as Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe, and Barbra Streisand. 

She also shares hilarious and poignant stories about Joseph Bologna, her partner in work and life for 52 years. In telling about her high and lows – on and off the scale – this comedy legend proves the ability to laugh gets you through it all.

“We are so fortunate to welcome Ms. Taylor to our new home in the NBPAC this season,” George Street Playhouse Artistic Director David Saint said. “This hilarious show is the perfect opportunity to see an icon
on our stage.” 

MY LIFE ON A DIET is written by Ms. Taylor and Joseph Bologna, and was originally directed by Mr. Bologna. It made its New York premiere last summer with a critically acclaimed, extended run Off-Broadway at the Theatre at St. Clements. In November 2018, Ms. Taylor won the annual United Solo Special Award for MY LIFE ON A DIET for her significant contributions to solo theatre during the year.

Audiences are encouraged to purchase early for the very best seats. 

For tickets, to buy a subscription, or to bring a group of 10 or more at a special group rate, visit 

RENÉE TAYLOR (Performer, Co-Writer). MY LIFE ON A DIET is one of 22 plays, four films, and nine TV movies and series that Renée and Joseph Bologna created together.  Renée and Joe appeared together on Broadway in their plays Lovers and Other Strangers (1968), It Had to Be You (1981), and If you ever leave me … I’m going with you! (2001); and Off-Broadway in Bermuda Avenue Triangle (Promenade Theatre, 1997). For film, they received an Academy Award nomination for the 1970 film adaptation of Lovers and Other Strangers. The following year, they co-wrote and co-starred in Made for Each Other (Writers Guild of America Award nomination for Best Comedy). Renée and Joe co-directed, co-wrote, and co-starred in the 1989 film adaptation of It Had to Be You, and the 1996 film Love Is All There Is (which introduced a young Angelina Jolie). For television, the couple won Emmy Awards in 1973 for writing “Acts of Love and Other Comedies,” and were nominated once again the following year for writing the TV movie “Paradise.” They co-directed, co-wrote, and co-starred in the 1984 HBO movie “Bedrooms” (Writers Guild Award). Renée made her professional stage debut at 15 in a Purim Pageant at Madison Square Garden, and earned her Actors Equity card at age 19 for appearing in The Rehearsal at The President Theatre. Her other stage credits include: Nora and Delia Ephron’s Love, Loss, and What I Wore; Agatha Sue, I Love You (directed by George Abbott); Luv (directed by Mike Nichols); Elaine May’s 1964 improvisational revue The Third Ear; and William Gibson’s Dinny and the Witches at the Cherry Lane Theatre.  Her many film credits also include: Jerry Lewis’ The Errand Boy, Mel Brooks’ The Producers, Elaine May’s A New Leaf, Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Lovesick, White Palace, Life During Wartime, Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, and more recently, The Do-Over and How To Be a Latin Lover. Known for her Emmy nominated role of Sylvia Fine in “The Nanny,” Renée’s other notable TV acting credits include “Daddy Dearest” and the groundbreaking HBO sitcom “Dream On” (she had the distinction of appearing on these three television shows simultaneously).  More recently she has had recurring roles in “How I Met Your Mother,” “Bob’s Burgers,” and “Happily Divorced,” and can currently be seen on Amazon’s “Gown and Out in Beverly Hills.” In addition winning the United Solo Special Award for Outstanding solo show, Renée was recently inducted into the Bronx Jewish Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018 due to the success of MY LIFE ON A DIET.  She holds an Honorary Doctorate from Hofstra University.

JOSEPH BOLOGNA (Co-Writer, Director) was born in Brooklyn, NY on December 30, 1934.  Bologna graduated from Brown University with a degree in art history.  Following a tour with the U.S. Marines, Joe started directing short films and writing special comedy material. Bologna made his Broadway debut as the co-star and co-author of Lovers and Other Strangers, and he made his film debut as the co-star and co-author of Made for Each Other.  His other film credits include Cops and Robbers, Mixed Company, The Big Bus, Chapter Two, My Favorite Year, Blame It on Rio, The Woman in Red, Love Is All There Is and Big Daddy. His television credits include the Emmy-winning television special “Acts of Love and Other Comedies” (co-written with Ms. Taylor), and the made for TV films “Honor Thy Father;” “Paradise;” “What’s New, Catherine Cutis?;” “Torn Between Two Lovers;” and “One Cooks, the Other Doesn't;” among others. An Academy Award nominated and Emmy Award winning playwright and screenwriter, Joe, with Renée Taylor, his wife and partner of 52 years, collaborated on 22 plays, four film screenplays, and nine TV movies and series.
The national tour of MY LIFE ON A DIET is presented by Julian Schlossberg.

About George Street Playhouse

Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint since 1998, and Kelly Ryman -- Managing Director since 2013, the Playhouse produces groundbreaking new works, inspiring productions of the classics, and hit Broadway plays and musicals that speak to the heart and mind, with an unwavering commitment to producing new work.  As New Brunswick’s first producing theatre, George Street Playhouse became the cornerstone of the revitalization of the City’s arts and cultural landscape.  With its 45-year history of producing nationally renowned theatre, the Playhouse continues to fill a unique theatre and arts education role in the city, state and greater metropolitan region.

Beginning with the 2019-20 Season, George Street Playhouse will move to the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center in downtown New Brunswick.  Featuring two state-of-the-art theatres -- The Arthur Laurents Theater with 253 seats and The Elizabeth Ross Johnson Theater which seats 465-- and myriad amenities, the NBPAC will mark a new era in the esteemed history of George Street Playhouse.

Originally located in an abandoned supermarket on the corner of George and Albany Streets, George Street Playhouse was the first professional theatre in New Brunswick and played a major role in the revitalization of the downtown area.  In 1984, the Playhouse moved to a renovated YMCA on Livingston Avenue, and in 2017 took temporary residence in the former Agricultural Museum during construction of its new home.

The Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway. In 2018, George Street Playhouse was represented on Broadway with Gettin’ the Band Back Together which premiered on the Playhouse mainstage in 2013.  American Son, produced by George Street Playhouse in 2017, opened on Broadway in 2018 starring Kerry Washington and Stephen Pasqual, and will appear on Netflix.  Other productions include the Outer Critics’ Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger.  In 2015, It Shoulda Been You opened on Broadway and Joe DiPietro’s Clever Little Lies opened off-Broadway.  Both shows received their premieres at the Playhouse. Others include the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill; and the Broadway hit and Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at the Playhouse during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. 

In addition to the mainstage season, the Playhouse’s education department provides extensive programming for children, youth and adults.  Partnering with administrators and educators throughout New Jersey, the Playhouse provides unique education experiences that both reinforce classroom curriculum and investigate issues such as bullying, diversity, immigration, health and wellness, and the rising epidemic of opioid addiction. 

George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.  Grant funding has been provided by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders through a grant award from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund.